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Five Cafes In Stirling/Aldgate Area Rated For 'Toddler-Friendliness'

by Lauren Nicolle Taylor (follow)
Cafes And Restaurants (131)      Kid Friendly (695)     
It can sometimes be hard juggling 'mum life', and wanting to relax and have a cup of coffee. Here are five Cafes in Stirling/Aldgate area, that have been rated according to everything a mum needs, and wants.

1.FRED Eatery, Aldgate

220 Mt Barker Road, Aldgate Village.

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Boisterous toleration: 7/10
The staff are pretty good but not super engaging towards younger kids. I was once with a friend and the waiter complimented her on giving her child an Ipad so she didnít ďdisturbĒ other patrons. Big tables will slow down service.

Kid friendly set up: 7/10
Itís a pretty elegant set up, and aside from long benches upstairs, itís all single, wooden or leather seats. Easily wiped clean. They feature local artists which can be a nice topic of conversation, as in, ďGet your jammy hands off that $400 painting of a sheep wearing a sundressĒ. They also have a nice outdoor area over the creek which could keep your kids entertained for a few minutes. Though watch out for dogs if your kid is a little wary. It seems to be a dog walking stop over. Music is great. And it is spacious, so you can take your kid to a quiet corner if need be.

Things to break: 8/10
Downstairs thereís not too much within reach of chubby, grabby little hands. Upstairs thereís a bookshelf with kidís books on the bottom but higher up and definitely within reach of a two year old, there are pointy ceramics and stylised, green bunnies just begging to be sucked on by a teething baby.

The Coffee: 7/10
The coffee is great. They offer all the different milks, though you will pay extra for your coconut latte. The price of a normal coffee is on the high side, but worth it for a 'once every couple of weeks' kind of thing.

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Sweets in the face: 9/10
All sweets are at high counter height, well above the average toddlerís sugar hungry eyes.

FRED Eatery, Aldgate


2.The Seasonal Garden Cafe, Stirling

1/11 Mt Baker Road, Stirling

Boisterous toleration: 8/10
Very friendly and engaging staff. When a six-month-old plunged her hand in a cup of fresh coffee, and spilled it all over EVERYTHING, they were quick to help and reassure the mother. They also made a free replacement coffee straight away. The barista always chats to my kids and treats them respectably, which, in turn, makes them behave.

Kid friendly set up: 8/10
Itís very clean and simple in design. Not much to climb. Itís warm and rustic, with that recycled kind of feel- think, pallets and raw timber. Itís feels inviting and 'op shoppy' (yeah I know thatís not a word) so you know even if something breaks, itís not going to set you back too much. Itís a small space though, and the outside tables are open to a busy main road. Itís a place for a quick cuppa, not a long lunch as your kids will get bored once theyíve found the marshmallow at the bottom of their hot chocolate.

Things to break: 8/10
Nothing much to break, except maybe a sugar container or a pot plant. Like I said, clean and simple.

The Coffee: 10/10
The coffee is exquisite! Iím salivating just thinking about it. And the big plus for my lactose intolerant self is: they donít charge extra for special milks. Ooh and they do a LARGE, large. Itís bigger than my face and will only set you back $6. They also offer a fifty-cent discount for keep cups/travel mugs.

Sweets in the face: 7/10
This is tricky because they mostly sell healthy stuff that look like sweets. Raw bliss balls and slices. Honestly, my kids read that it has beetroot in it and theyíre put off. But it is all at toddler face height and your young ones may still think they want it, as it looks like the real thing.

3.Ruby's Organic Cafe, Stirling

Shop 3, 29 Mt Barker Road, Stirling.

Boisterous toleration: 6/10
I donít see many children at Rubyís. It was once the only go to coffee spot in Stirling, but has failed to keep up with the competition. The staff are okay but not overly interested in your little angel or you for that matter.

Kid friendly set up: 6/10
Itís very cramped inside and has one very long, very high bench seat that runs the entire length of the room. A toddler could do some serious damage to themselves if they fell from the high seats, and probably take down a few pensioners while theyíre at it. The outside area is enclosed and suits young ones a little better, but thereís still a lot of scope for a disappearing act if youíre not watchful. The dťcor is very dated which may bother you but wonít really bother your child. Theyíre too busy contemplating their sky dive from the bench seat.

Things to break: 9/10
Itís quite devoid of trinkets. So, if youíve got a grabby kid, this may be the place for you.

The Coffee: 6/10
The coffee is inconsistent and the most expensive Iíve come across in the hills. Think, $9 for a large coconut milk coffee. You will also be waiting a long time in some cases, to get it. Last time, I was left wondering whether they were climbing the coconut tree and milking it themselvesÖ

Sweets in the face: 8/10
Biscuit jars are high up but tarts and cakes are at toddler eye level. Though the salads are also at that height, and could be used as a threatening tool.

4.Patch Kitchen and Garden, Stirling

143 Mt Barker Road, Stirling

Boisterous toleration: 8/10
The staff are friendly. Slack, but friendly. Theyíll tolerate your sticky toddler because Iím not sure they even notice they're there.

Kid friendly set up: 9/10
Patch is made for kids. They have a great, enclosed garden complete with cubby house and chook hutch. Your toddler will feel free to spin in circles without retribution. Indoors, there is plenty of space and even a closed off room with a blackboard to stick the really loud ones in. Patch is not, however, made for adults who value their time. So, unless youíre sitting on a time machine that makes every second last sixty, you may find Patch tries your patience. Yep, itís SLOW.

Things to break: 9/10
Great on the 'breakability scale'. There arenít any precious artefacts for your kid to smash.

The Coffee: 7/10
The coffee is pretty good, and I know Iím harping on about this but you may die of a caffeine-deprivation stroke (Iím sure itís a thing) while waiting for it. Prices are reasonable.

Sweets in the face: 9/10
Sweets are relegated to one small corner of the counter. You could potentially leave your kids in the sandpit and run in to order without them ever seeing the salted caramel and dark chocolate tart you just swallowed in one bite.



Ruby's Counter
Patch Kitchen and Garden, Stirling


5.The Patisserie, Stirling

52 Mt Barker Road, Stirling

Boisterous toleration: 6/10
Staff are civil. Service is quick but they donít really cater to children. This is good place to grab a quick take away, when youíre not in the mood to make eye contact, and your kid is too sick to protest.

Kid friendly set up: 5/10
The dťcor is modern and eye pleasing, with greenery and blonde timber- very Scandi. The big draw back is the Patisserie is set up inside a bottle shop. So unless youíre keen to introduce your toddler to 'Alcoholism, The Early Years', you may be in for a rough ride. Itís all open plan, moving seamlessly from cafť to bottle-o. Stacked cartons of beer will be great for games of king of the castle, and wine barrels full of packaged snacks are just begging to be dived into. Your child will drown happily in a sea of honey soy chicken chips.

Things to break: 4/10
Get ready to chase your child down the aisles as they peruse the fantastic range of local beers and wines, while mentally calculating how much a break will cost you and whether itís uncool to lick it off the floor. They also sell 'shmancy' homewares right within reach, so you could be up for a high damages bill.

The Coffee: 6/10
The coffee is good and the prices are competitive BUT they donít do all the milk alternatives.

Sweets in the face: 6/10
Sweets are at eye height. Meringues the size of dinner plates will entice your childís inner sugar demon. You could walk through the bottle shop to avoid the sweet counter. Itís a toss-up between whining child who wants a cookie and red wine stains and broken glass.

#Kid Friendly
#Cafes And Restaurants



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